NTUF Partners with Washington Watch
NTUF is pleased to announce a new partnership with WashingtonWatch.com, an independent, interactive web site that tracks the potential fiscal impact of federal legislation. The fiscal estimates generated by NTUF’s BillTally system will now help to power WashingtonWatch’s cost calculations. The estimates featured in The Tab each week -- plus hundreds more -- will now appear on WashingtonWatch.com to make their cost calculations even more robust.
Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs -- and savings -- of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor. With this new partnership, you will be able to see how those costs affect you, your family, and the national debt. At WashingtonWatch, you will also be able to read what others think about the bill and share your opinions as well. Don’t miss your opportunity to speak out!
Most Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 2637/S. 426, Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act
Annualized Cost: $2.5 billion ($12.5 billion five year cost)
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32) and Senator Bernard Sanders (VT) introduced the DIPLOMA Act to improve school performance and to better address community problems. The bill aims to reduce social and economic barriers that limit student achievement both inside and outside of the classroom, by encouraging integrated, cooperative community-based solutions. The bill would authorize new grants to states to ensure the academic, physical, and emotional development of disadvantaged youth.
According to a press release from Congresswoman Chu's office, "The DIPLOMA Act would allow states to award grants to local groups that coordinate, integrate and facilitate services aimed at strengthening student achievement. Services include tutoring, extending learning services, health care and social support." The bill also authorizes an evaluation process to ensure the funds are being spent effectively.
The DIPLOMA Act would cost $2.5 billion each year for the next five years.
Least Expensive Bill of the Week
Bill: S. 1164, Transportation Empowerment Act
Annualized Savings: -$5.31 billion (-$26.55 billion over five years)
The Federal Highway Trust Fund was established in 1956 to finance the creation of a nationwide highway system, including the Interstate system. Over time, the Fund has been used to finance mass transit systems, bike lanes, and other non-highway projects earmarked by lawmakers. S. 1164 would put states in charge of selecting and funding their own transportation projects instead of relying on the federal government to do so.
The Transportation Empowerment Act, sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint (SC), would reform the funding mechanism of highway projects. After a multi-year transition period, federal gas tax revenues -- the primary income source for the Highway Trust Fund -- would be cut significantly. Federal spending from the Trust Fund would also be correspondingly reduced. States would be allowed to adjust their own gas tax rates to make up the difference. State gas tax receipts would not be transferred to the federal government.
If enacted, S. 1164 would result in $26.55 billion in federal spending cuts. Major savings provisions include cuts to the Interstate Maintenance, Interstate Bridge, and Indian Reservation Roads Programs. NTUF found that the current spending of the transportation programs mentioned in S. 1164 currently costs taxpayers approximately $15 billion per year.
Bill: H.R. 1648/S. 506, Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2011
Annualized Cost: "No Cost" - Regulatory
Number of Cosponsors: 98 Congressmen and 30 Senators
To provide better coordination between state education agencies and local school districts, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39) and Senator Robert Casey (PA) introduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act. The Act would require local districts to establish defined policies to ban bullying and harassment. State education entities would be required to collect data and to offer assistance to schools on how to prevent and combat bullying.
H.R. 1648 and S. 506 would impose new regulations on both state and local education outlets. The bills do not call for new programs or authorize new federal spending, resulting in a "no cost" score.
House cosponsors include 98 Democrats and three Republicans. In the Senate, 29 Senators who caucus with the Democratic Party and one Republican support S. 506.